President Donald Trump isn't just calling North Korea's Kim Jong Un names anymore; he's labeling the entire country a state sponsor of terror.
"Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago," President Trump announced as he sat down for a meeting of his cabinet.
North Korea joins Iran, Sudan and Syria as countries that have been designated as state sponsors of terror. It's not the first time this has happened. The North Korean regime was on the list from 1988 until 2008 when it was removed in an attempt to boost settlement talks on reducing their nuclear program. Now nine years later, President Trump is bringing the designation back.
"In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil," Trump said.
The president invoked the name of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was arrested, brutally beaten and held for months without proper medical treatment to taking a propaganda poster while he was traveling in the repressive country. Warmbier died days after being released into American custody.
According to Trump the designation will allow for even greater sanctions on the regime in Pyongyang.
"This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons and supports our maximum pressure campaign to insolate the murderous regime," Trump said.
Starting Tuesday the president said there will be a series of announcements on the particulars of the sanctions and that the full new sanctions regime will be rolled out over a two-week period.